APR 2012

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Home GREEN MEETINGS 3 Austin, Texas One of the "premier green destinations in the country," Austin encompasses 251 parks, 15 preserves, 26 greenbelts and more than 50 miles of trails, according to Steve Alberts, communications manager for the Austin CVB. Planning Directory Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase Eco-Smart Cities project has received a Four Stars certifica- tion from Austin's Green Building pro- gram, making it both the largest Austin Energy Four-Star rated project and the highest LEED mixed-use building in the The Austin Convention Center state of Texas. ■ The AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center:With 40,000 square feet of meeting space and an LEED Gold facility, the center offers a recycling and composting program. To reduce the use of paper, the center offers a new web app for meeting planners. Teambuilding: Austin Parks Founda- tion, Capitol Cruises, ziplining, canoe- ing excursions, and TexPert Tours. Green Venues: ■ The Austin Convention Center: This 370,967-square foot exhibit and meeting facility recently achieved LEED Gold certi- fication for Existing Buildings—only one of two convention centers in the U.S. and the only one in Texas to achieve this rating. ■ W Austin: Part of Block21, a Silver LEED-certified property with 251 guest rooms offering a room recycling program, seven meeting spaces, and the TRACE restaurant that's "dedicated to serving a menu that's not only delicious but com- prised of locally raised and sourced ingredi- ents," Alberts said. The Block21 St. Petersburg, Florida "Pinellas County and the city of St. Petersburg are the first municipalities in Florida to earn the Florida Green Building Coalition Green City designation," said Suzanne Scully, director of meetings and conventions for Visit St Petersburg/Clear- water. Bio-diesel and hybrid fleet vehicles, reclaimed water systems, recycling and yard waste-to-mulch program, preservation of environmentally sensi- tive land, bike trails, tree plantings and envi- ronmental education centers thrive. In addition, the Florida Green Lodging Certification Program establishes environ- mental guidelines for hotels and motels to By Adrianne Bowen The meetings industry is staying on top of the green movement by choosing destinations that offer plenty of environmentally-friendly options for attendees. Here are some of the top cities that are energizing the South as a great place to host green meetings: conserve natural resources and prevent pollution. Green Venues: ■ Sandpearl Resort:With 240 rooms and 25,000 square feet of meeting space, the re- sort is the first Silver LEED-certified resort in Florida and one of only 10 in the U.S. Energy efficiency, indoor air quality, water conservation, natural resource conservation and green-sensitive transportation are all part of the resort's commitment. ■ TradeWinds Island Grand Beach Resort: The first Florida resort to apply for Green Lodging certification, the venue offers 585 rooms and 65,000 square feet of meeting space. It's also touted as the first resort to provide "eco-friendly lighting that doesn't draw newly hatched sea turtles off their course," Scully said, adding that the resort provides erosion management and habitat conservation, including the planting of sea oats and native plant species. Teambuilding: Shell Island Excursion, Weedon Island Preserve, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and Sensing Nature LLC. ➤ TradeWinds Island Grand Beach Resort 20 ConventionSouth APRIL 2012 www.con v

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